The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has unveiled a new-look northern panel to help guide regional research priorities and deliver enduring profitability gains to growers across New South Wales and Queensland.
The 10-person panel was announced by GRDC chairman John Woods and comprises growers, consultants and researchers from southern NSW to central Queensland.
Mr Woods said the northern panel played a critical advisory role in regional GRDC levy investment, ensuring it addresses growers’ major production constraints and research priorities.
“The northern panel is an important conduit between the GRDC and growers, providing invaluable grass roots insights on regional production challenges and opportunities,” Mr Woods said.
“This information is encapsulated within the GRDC’s investment decision making process to ensure that our investments are well-targeted, regionally relevant and offer a tangible return to growers.”
GRDC northern panel chair John Minogue said the new panel harnessed a breadth of grains industry experience from production to agronomic and farm business consulting and research.
“The panel brings together a dynamic mix of specialised knowledge and experience which is an enormous asset to the future of the northern grains industry,” Mr Minogue said.
“The panel selection process undertaken by the GRDC Board has been thorough with extensive consideration given to the blend of skills required to best serve the interests of growers and other grains industry stakeholders right across the northern cropping region.
“GRDC is firmly committed to investing in research and development that will deliver farm-ready solutions to production constraints, help reduce production costs and have a positive impact on farm profitability and the panel plays an important role in that process.”
Incoming panelists include Liverpool Plains senior agronomist Peter McKenzie, central Queensland senior agronomist Graham Spackman, Riverina district grower Roy Hamilton, Parkes district grower Bruce Watson, West Wyalong grower Roger Bolte and southern Queensland research pathologist and private consultant Jo White.
They join returning panelists Tony Hamilton, a grower from Forbes, NSW; Andrew McFadyen an agricultural consultant from Lake Cargelligo, NSW; Arthur Gearon, a grower from Chinchilla, Queensland; and GRDC’s General Manager for Applied R&D Brondwen MacLean from Canberra, while NSW grower and agricultural consultant John Minogue will continue as chair.
While welcoming the new panel members, Mr Minogue said it was also timely to recognise the enormous contribution of outgoing panellists, some of whom have served on the northern panel for a number of terms.
Outgoing panellists are Loretta Serafin, NSW Department of Primary Industries agronomist, Tamworth, NSW; Jules Dixon, Sydney-based crop consultant; Penny Heuston, agronomist, Warren, NSW; Jack Williamson, agronomist and grower, Goondiwindi, Queensland; and Neil Fettell from Condobolin in NSW.
“The GRDC sincerely thanks the outgoing panel members for their tireless commitment and dedication over the years,” Mr Minogue said.
“They have represented the northern grains industry with distinction and have devoted enormous effort to representing the views, issues and research priorities of growers.
“They should be proud of their contribution and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours.”
One of the first commitments for the new panel will be the GRDC spring tour in mid-September 2017 when panellists will meet with growers, advisors and researchers to tour trial sites and research facilities in southern NSW.